"God’s Guide to Growth in Groups"
In Acts 1:15 the Bible says, “In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty).” Out of this group of 120 people, the Spirit of God started the Church.
Acts 2:4 says, “Those who accepted Peter’s message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” After the first day the church of Jerusalem morphed into a mega church!
Acts 2:47 says “The Lord added daily to their number.” If just one person is added a day, that is 365 more added to the 3000 for the next year.
Acts 4:4 states “But many who heard the message believed. The number of men who believed grew to about five thousand. So, if we have 5000 men and add a wife and just one child, we now have a church of 15,000 members in a short period of time.
Acts 5:14 reports, “And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number.” The word “multitude” means something has reached a point where it can no longer be accurately counted because of its size.
Acts 5:28 says, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching.” The phrase “filled Jerusalem with your teaching” is interesting. How big was Jerusalem? – 200,000 after 20 years (the size of Des Moines). How big was the church at Jerusalem after 20 years? – 100,000. That means the followers of Christ established a church of 100,000 in a city of 200,000. Now that’s “filling” a city.
Acts 6:1 notes, “the believers multiplied rapidly.” We have just moved from “addition” to “multiplication”. Follow that up with Acts 6:7 – “So God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased (literally – became uncountable) in Jerusalem.” This is rapid, exponential growth in the early church.
How do we get that kind of exponential growth in a church/our church? The answer: By using New Testament methodology. The Bible says this church grew to uncountable numbers. So where did they put all of these people? The answer is
found in Acts 5:42, “And every day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: “Jesus is the Messiah.”
This dual strategy of large group worship and small group fellowship is the biblical structure and strategy for the church. Not only then, but now as well! When we do church like the NT does church we will have results like the NT church had.
Acts 2:46 says, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
The NT methodology that works is this:
Large group worship (temple courts) in conjunction with small group fellowship (house to house gatherings).
More Sunday in the temple courts!